Embracing stewardship; a way of life

Stewardship is a word we have all heard for years, but how many of us really understand its meaning?  You may have been involved with a parish in our diocese, or in another part of the country, where stewardship was the “buzzword” for giving. Stewardship is not just about giving. We will begin to learn it is much deeper and spiritually-based than the little attention most of us have paid to it over the years. The Diocese of Pueblo will spend the coming years making a major transition to a diocese of stewardship for all priests, parishes and parishioners.

Stewardship is a way of life embracing all aspects of our day to day living. It is the central theme of the Bible, which tells us we are accountable to God for all the gifts of time, talent and treasure that he has entrusted to us. Further, the emphasis is on the personal need of each one of us to return to God a truly grateful portion of our time, talent and treasure, in thanksgiving for all the good things bestowed to us.  

Stewardship is not to be confused with tithing.  Tithing is based strictly on a percentage of an income or a donation. Tithing is financially based in its design and does not speak to our time or talent. Stewardship speaks to the whole of our faith and existence as Catholics.

There are ten tenants of stewardship: prayer, humility, trust, patience, responsibility, gratitude, generosity, simplicity, mercy and perseverance. Over a period of months I will explain each of these characteristics and how they are essential to understanding successful stewardship and embracing it as way of life. For many Catholics this represents a fundamental change in how we have been taught to support our parish and our faith. For others, they are already living a life of Stewardship. 

One of the differences of stewardship lies primarily in the motivation for giving. Most of us were brought up to respond to parish needs with fundraisers, second collections and special requests, etc… In contrast, stewardship requests some type of sacrificial giving as a constant, not as a response to immediate needs. 

The stewardship way of life teaches that we are capable of nothing on our own; and it is true, especially when it comes to fulfilling this commitment to discipleship.  Instead it is made possible through the gift of God’s grace, which in His love He makes ever present for us, so long as we ask and respond to it.

Please join me as I too, start to make the transition from a response-based parishioner to a parishioner of “stewardship.”